For testing purposes, I created a new user profile, and the trackpad is working as usual! However, It is still not working on my main user profile. I did the following with no success so far:

  • Re-install the macOS from the macOS recovery
  • Delete the com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad plist file from the ~/Library/Preferences through two ways: file system and Default command
  • Reset the SMC
  • Reset the NVRAM

macOS Catalina 10.15.5

  • Welcome to Ask Different. What is the file you deleted and when you say profile, how precisely do you set that up? I think you mean making a new user and starting a graphical log in, but would like to confirm.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 1:34
  • Hi, yeah a new user. Here is the plist file I deleted and then re-started my mac (It would create the file again): com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 1:40
  • I’ll presume you removed it from the filesystem instead of using the defaults command? That might be a place to start.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 1:46
  • yeah form the file system. do you mean doing something like this instead: rm path/to/file ? Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 1:49
  • That’s general way to break things or not fully clear preferences. I’ll start an answer with one clear option and perhaps a quick fix. If my answer isn’t correct be sure to edit your details into the question body. Many people never look at comments at all.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 1:51

3 Answers 3


Removing a preference list is not so good on macOS. First step is to let the database that tracks preferences to clear those entries.

defaults delete -/Library/Preferences/whatever

Since the system may not read those settings, shut down after the above. Good news is you know the hardware and OS are fine. Worst case no one can help figure out how your account is corrupt and you back up your files and restore them to the new account with the working settings.

  • unfortunately did not work Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 2:55
  • Sounds like it did work to back up your files and restore them to a new account? @MaherBouidani
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 12:35

If you know that the problem is confined to one user account, then you should follow the standard troubleshooting tips for any user account problem.

First,resetting anything outside of the user domain, like the OS itself, the SMC, NVRAM, etc is not going to do anything.

There may be several preference keys across multiple plists at fault. You can try looking through the .GlobalPreferences.plist (normally invisible); any other plists with trackpad/input related filenames.

Beyond that, you may have to do a 'binary search': take half the plists out; restart/log in; test the problem. If the problem remains, switch the halves and test again. If the problem has gone, restore half of the half.


I've not found a specific solution for this problem even after a call with a senior advisor at Apple. That being, the work around I did was to back up my files into iCloud Drive and then factory reset my MacBook Pro.

  • 1
    Absolutely no need to factory reset a user account issue.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 10:33

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